Generic Events risk assessment

The following information relates to the written risk assessment that must be carried out prior to any events hosted within an Informatics building (the Forum and Appleton Tower), and acts as a guide only. We hope you find it useful.

Anyone arranging meetings has a responsibility for the well-being of all attendees and a written risk assessment is documented proof that some thought has been given to the foreseeable issues that might occur. Even without any written risk assessment the responsibilities still exist, but you will be in a much poorer place legally if an incident occurs and there has been no documented evidence of considerations.

For any event where Informatics space is intended to be used we wish to see evidence of this assessment having taken place.

During the current Covid-19 pandemic period your risk assessment will also have to limit the likelyhood of spreading the virus. For local Informatics event organisers; please contact our Safety Adviser for advice. External event organisers should contact their own sources and refer to the University H+S department for any generic University advice.

Your risk assessment should not just be about hazards you may be causing but also about foreseeable hazards that might occur whilst you are present and what you will do if they happen. For instance, whilst you may be doing nothing to cause a fire, you are still in a building in use by others and a fire may break out. You should have a procedure for getting your attendees out of the building safely.

Within Informatics space you may not exclude attendees who may have disabilities and this means that for any event off of ground level you require to have an evacuation procedure to accomodate those who cannot manage stairs, irrespective of who you believe is coming to your event. This means having an evacuation team to manage the evacuation lifts (team of 2 minimum), or evacuation chair (team of 3 minimum).

Informatics currently allow events within its workspace but it is our expectation that those events will be making sensible assessments of foreseeable hazards. We have been concerned that some have not being doing so and may also not fully appreciate what to do. The organiser of any event needs to consider the controls that they will put in place alongside any that currently exist which will reduce the chances of an incident occurring and limit the damage should an incident occur.

Example RiskĀ Assessment

We have produced an example risk assessment to aid others in producing theirs and which would be our minimum expectations for any event to control (Fire, slips, trips, cuts, allergies, electric shock). You are welcome to use this as a guideline for parts of your own risk assessment.

The inclusion of the various roles will be a judgement call of the person doing the assessment and the organiser.

To clarify the various terms in the example:

  1. Event Organiser: The person(s) that called the event into existence and is ultimately responsible for ensuring there are procedures in place for the benefit of the attendees. This person can cover multiple roles. It is not an optional role
  2. Responsible Person: The person(s) who will attend the event and provide a competent element of initial support to give basic cover. This person can cover multiple roles.
  3. First Aider: A First Aid qualified person who will be on hand to deal with more serious incidents. This role is a judgement call of the organiser but if not present then an alternate procedure must be noted and followed. This person can cover multiple roles.
  4. Fire Steward: Someone who is aware of the fire routes and procedure for the building and can assist with ensuring all attendees leave the building safely and report to the Fire Assembly Coordinator (likely Uni Security) at the main door if there are entrapment issues. This person can cover multiple roles.
  5. Emergency evacuation team: People who can assist any disabled attendees to leave the building. For events off the ground floor these are people (min 2 or 3 ) who can operate the emergency evacuation lift or chairs and who will bring any attendee requiring emergency evacuation out of the building. (i.e. evac any attendee who is unable to use the stairs, or becomes unable to use stairs during the course of the event due to injury).

These roles, where they exist in a risk assessment, should be completed with the name of the person appointed (and contact details during the event).

Role 1 is not optional and the named contact will be responsible for performing all the other roles if no alternates are listed, additionally for a one-person managed event it will need to take place at ground level. The existence of people for the other roles is a judgement call for the organiser based on expected attendee numbers and event activities (large attendee numbers, more physical activities; more hazards; etc; would require more support roles). For events above or below the ground floor Role 5 requires at least one other person (thus one person to cover all roles for such an event is not possible). Once a risk assessment is completed and signed off, its content should be provided to each person involved in a role, so that procedures are understood. A copy also ought to be kept by the organiser for their records (and production in event of any HSE investigation following an incident).

Further useful information on emergency evacuation and level plans are available for the Informatics Forum and Appleton Tower: